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Wednesday, 12 July, 2000, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
Legend Lee joins Star Wars cast
Christopher Lee in Gormenghast
Christopher Lee has played a variety of characters
Screen legend Christopher Lee has joined the cast of the new Star Wars film.

The veteran actor will play the part of a "charismatic separatist" in Star Wars: Episode II, according to the official website.

Lee, 78, said he was thrilled to become a part of the classic science fiction series.

George Lucas
Lee is looking forward to working with director George Lucas

"It will be more than another part. It will be another arrow in my quiver," he said. "I'm looking forward to it enormously."

He admitted being a fan of George Lucas' space adventures, saying: "They created a whole new era in the cinema.

"The scale of imagination and the scale of production and the impact that it had on the entire world was a first. It created an impact in the cinema that was unique."

Lee's vast experience ensures he won't be fazed by the scale of Lucas' latest production, which is currently being filmed in Australia.

Demanding

"I've been in the film industry for 53 years, and I can remember doing very big pictures, very physically demanding pictures, very tough pictures.

"I am used to working in epic pictures, I've been in many over the years," he said.

Lee is best known for his roles in horror movies, particularly the part of Dracula, which he played in several films.

He has also starred as Sherlock Holmes and the villainous Scaramanga in the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun. More recently he was seen in the BBC adaptation of Gormenghast.

The Phantom Menace
The Phantom Menace is the third biggest movie ever

But he is particularly looking forward to working with Lucas, so he can enjoy himself again.

"Fun is a word you don't hear very often in the film industry these days," Lee admitted.

"But one of the things George Lucas said to me was 'we'll have a lot of fun'. And that, believe me, is very good to hear."

Star Wars: Episode II is not due for release in the United States until the summer 2002.

Its predecessor, The Phantom Menace, is already the third-highest grossing movie of all time, behind Titanic and the original Star Wars, despite receiving mixed reviews.

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See also:

03 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Force behind Phantom video
03 Mar 00 | Entertainment
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